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Leeds United vs Middlesbrough: Betting Preview

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George Dempsey has scouted the best tips out there for our game against Boro at Elland Road.

Matthew Lewis

On Saturday two teams heading in two different directions after a change in fortunes meet, albeit the change in direction is only minimal as Middlesbrough visit Elland Road.

Boro recently went eight unbeaten and reached the top of the Championship table, although they've now lost three of their last six and are conceding more goals.

Leeds United had a woeful spell of 7 games without registering a win but 5 games in a tight period have seen us hit an average of 2 goals a game and pick up 4 wins, a respectable 12 points.

Wins against top three sides, Crystal Palace and Leicester City were followed up by a thumping 4-2 win over local rivals Huddersfield, and a 2-0 win ending a five game unbeaten stretch for Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich.

Whilst Leeds still haven’t cracked that winning away formula, and perhaps still won’t until the standard of the squad reaches that of some of the higher placed sides, great strides have been made at home and most importantly Elland Road is becoming the fortress Warnock said it should be.

Despite our 5/1 price, it’s hard to argue Leeds didn't play Chelsea off the pitch for 45 minutes and even after conceding looked extremely comfortable and threatening in the second half, albeit we were un-done and the game was changed by two unfortunate goalkeeper errors after Ashdown’s stunning performance before hand.

Tomorrow Middlesbrough visit and are at a much bigger price than Chelsea, being tagged at 2.75 (7/4) with Bwin while Leeds United are favourites at 2.60 (8/5) with Stan James. The draw is 3.30 (23/10) with Stan James also.

The favourites tag is only a small one, but perhaps a deserved one given the change in quality of performances at Elland Road lately, and traditionally a Warnock side is hard to beat at home when they find their feet.

One of the bigger reasons Leeds have been winning games is down to the goal scoring exploits of Luciano Becchio. Albeit with a high number assists from Thomas, Diouf and Tonge in recent weeks – Becchio scores so many goals because he’s a phenomenal finisher who usually only needs one touch, as he showed against Chelsea.

Luciano has been the shortest priced player to score in every single Leeds Championship game this season. Today he is priced at 2.62 (13/8) with Paddy Power. The bookmakers will tell you the biggest threat for Boro’ is McDonald, who they fancy at 2.80 (9/5)

In fact, with seven equally dangerous strikers and three tricky wingers between the two sides, 75% of bookmakers fancy ten attacking players to score at odds lower than 3.00 (2/1) which shows how much of a goal threat is on the pitch including Becchio, McCormack, Diouf, McDonald, Emnes, Ishmael Miller and more.

It almost makes the price of 1.90 (10/11) for Over 2.5 goals with Betfair very attractive. That’s not what I’ll be taking, however.

As well as my usual fancy in the corners market at Elland Road, I’m going to stick my neck out for an impressive performance and a market that would demand perhaps the most impressive performance we've seen from a Leeds side at Elland Road since the beginning of last season, or even earlier in our first Championship season.

After awesome performances of Premiership quality for a big part of the game, Diouf and Thomas were then rested after Chelsea’s killer goal, and Alan Tate also sat the game out and while a large number of first XI player’s player a full game, I think it’ll provide a desire and more confidence, with no tired legs.

Bets

Over 11.5 corners
@ 1.95 with Bet365

Leeds United -1 Asian Handicap
@ 4.33 with BetInternet